Feb 7, 2012

Highlights: 2011's City of the Year... Paris.

The city of light has always been prominent in cinema. In fact, New York is probably the only city that rivals it in terms of the number of memorable portrayals on the silver screen. This year, though, Paris was exceptionally ubiquitous. Midnight in Paris is of course the first film that comes to mind. Woody Allen carved a character from the city and examined it at a specific time period with specific residents. The film’s opening sequence, with Darius Khondji’s postcard-ready cinematography is as explicit a love letter to a city as I’ve ever seen on film. Then there’s Hugo. Like Allen, Martin Scorsese’s also renowned for his depictions of New York, but he, too, packed his stuff and picnicked with the French. Hugo also looked at Paris in an earlier period and centred its story on the city and one of its famous residents. There’s also the Oscar nominated French animation A Cat in Paris, which is a children’s adventure that, as the title suggests, happens in Paris (and involves a cat!)

If all that is not enough, the year’s biggest awards behemoth, The Artist, despite being set in Hollywood, adds even more Gallic flavour. Having seen these four films a total of seven times, it almost feels like I’ve taken a week-long vacation in Paris this year. The magic of the movies, people... the magic of the movies...

Previously on 11 Highlights of '11
Sex Scene of the Year
Most Underracted Actor of the Year
Dog of the Year
Best Andy Serkis of the Year
Most Overrated Film of the Year
Alpha Male of the Year


  1. Ugh, that opening shot of Hugo was the defining shot for Paris in cinema in 2011. So freakin' lush and gorgeous.

  2. That's true. That shot and all the ones from inside the clock tower are my most vivid memories of the film.